The Donner Half was like shopping at Cost-Co…I got more product for my money – more minutes on the race course that is! Based on my average time for this distance I usually pay roughly $0.83/minute but at the Donner Half it was just a mere $0.70/minute!
I wish I could say that I convinced the race director to lower the registration fee but my bargain price was simply just the result of being on the course far longer than I had hoped. But instead of saying I went slow I am going to say I got my money’s worth!
Here are the top 8 things that made my day far longer than necessary!
1.Lack of coffee! I had no coffee before the race. I have coffee EVERY day.
2.Clothing : I was really worried about being cold especially since I wore a sleeveless wetsuit. I do not handle being cold on the bike well so I decided to swim in a short tri top with the intention of putting on my long Freeplay top and my Freeplay bike jersey in transition. Haha!! I wasn’t even close to getting the long tri top since I was all wet from the swim. After at least two minutes of trying to unwed the clump of material stuck around my shoulders I tossed it on the ground and just wore the jersey. Ultimately I was plenty warm because there was a huge climb right out of transition.
3. The transition was in the dirt so when you run in with wet feet all the rock and dirt and twigs stick to them so when I went to put my socks on there was twigs, rocks and dirt all over my feet! I contemplated cleaning them with my towel but threw my socks on over the mess anyway because I had already spent too much time messing with my kit. This will prove to be a poor decision later.
4. With the plan of getting in more calories I mixed my bottles thicker than I normally do to practice for IM Tahoe. My body did not like this at all. By hour 2 I felt sick. I did 300 calories hour 1 and almost 300 hour two and then felt sick. I grabbed a water at one of the bike aid stations to try to flush the taste out but it didn’t really work. From hour 2:30 to 4:30 of the race I had NOTHING! Finally when my stomach started to settle I nibbled on potato chips at a rate of 2 per aid station.
5/6. Bike Choice. Last minute I decided to bring my road bike because of the amount of climbing and descending. Two problems here.: I didn’t put aero bars on my bike and it was a compact. The course was up a steep hill, then a more gradual descent on the back side that you do two loops of. So there was a ton of time you could pedal down hill in your aero bars. Because I had a compact I ran out of gears and had to coast sections that people were hammering. Then in my desperate attempt to make up time I pushed harder than I should on the ups.
7. Once I started running my arch was getting jabbed by a rock. I ran two miles with it in there and finally stopped to take my shoe off. I put it back on and it was still there. It was in my sock so I ended up sitting in the street so I could take my sock off and find it. Probably should have just taken the few seconds to wipe my feet in transition before putting my socks on but I was already so frustrated from my tri top and didn’t. Quite honestly sitting in the road was the most comfortable part of the race so I might of taken my time here. J
8. Talking. The fun part of the race was seeing people I knew on the course – Sean, Stacey, and a few others. Since there was no one right behind me I took the opportunity to stop a chat with these fantastic people along the way. Normally I’m all ‘game-face” but when the day isn’t going well why not take the opportunity to make it a little more fun (despite dragging the run leg out a little longer).
Altitude-wise: I didn’t notice it on the swim and the first half of the bike seemed ok but I could feel my throat started to burn the second half. It reminded me of my days when I ran indoor track in Northern Arizona and Reno.
And I almost forgot – I was 4th overall and 2nd in my AG.
On to the next adventure…